Sizzling Summer Shack
Parson's Chicken & Fish
Given they endure winters that make your deep-freezer look cosy, Chicagoans unsurprisingly love the warmer months and the many excellent alfresco dining and drinking options they afford. One of the hottest tables this season is also one of the most informal; newcomer Parson’s Chicken & Fish, the latest offering from the team behind Longman & Eagle, serves up – you guessed it – deliciously fried fruits de mer et de terre in a perpetually rammed, easy, breezy, retro-shack space complete with a huge patio of umbrella’d picnic benches, separate outdoor bar set up in a converted shipping container, and a ping pong table for those tipsy sport-inclined.
Both indoors (in the booths and at the bar perches) and on the patio, the focus is firmly on the excellent namesake dishes. A thin and perfectly brittle layer of lightly spiced buttermilk-flour batter cloaks the succulent chicken, while daily fish comes by the bucket in all its fluffy, barely greasy glory. Besides the star attractions, there are 3 distinct, well-executed menu categories to sample – Raw (east and west coast oysters), Fresh (chickpea and octopus salad, shrimp toast) and Fried (ham hock and cream cheese hush puppies). A summer patio wouldn’t be complete without refreshing beverages, and PC&F more than delivers with a beer, wine, spirit and house cocktail program highlighted by Negroni slushies served via mobile machines behind the bar. Get in before the mercury drops!